Human rights violations at Spain’s southern border: steps towards restoring legality

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Series Details Volume 19, Number 18
Publication Date December 2017
ISSN 1756-851X
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In mid-August 2014, a group of around 80 people attempted to enter Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, by climbing the three razor-wire topped fences that divide the territory from Morocco. The majority remained balanced atop a fence for around nine hours while some held onto their perches for up to 16 hours, “despite the suffocating heat and the lack of food and water,” as one news report noted at the time. [1] But regardless of how long they held on, as soon as they came down from the fence they were all returned to Morocco by officers from Spain’s Guardia Civil.

Two of the men who were on the fence that day (known only as N.D. and N.T.) subsequently brought legal proceedings against the Spanish government with the assistance of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

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